I have been looking around on the Internet for an update to the Windows 95 version of SimCity 2000 so that it runs properly under Windows XP. As some of you probably know, the game doesn't work very well on newer versions of Windows: the graphics don't animate properly, the program has to be reinstalled entirely for different Windows user accounts that want to play it, and personal files can be overwritten when these reinstallations occur. It's just a hassle and not worth the trouble.
Once I figured out that the animation problems could be fixed by enabling compatability mode for Windows 95 and forcing 256 colors, I started thinking about coming up with a VBScript that would automate this process along with some other things that would allow the game to function normally on Windows XP. The end result turned out quite well and, once this script is executed, the SimCity 2000 program functionality is updated in the following ways:
- A personalized "SimCity 2000" save folder is created in the user's My Documents folder; the program now defaults to this folder as its save location (this is actually an option, and if it is disabled the user's My Documents folder becomes the default save path)
- All SimCity 2000 registry keys are created and configured for the currently logged on user; this ensures that a reinstallation of the program is never required in order for it to be able to run (installation/configuration errors will never occur again when the game is launched, regardless of how many different users want to play)
- At startup, the current user is prompted for his/her CDRom drive letter (in case you want/need access to the additonal features on the CD), his/her Mayor Name and his/her Company Name; this information is individualized for each user account (for example, Judy can be "Mayor Judy" when she is logged on with her Windows account and Tony can be "Mayor Tony" when he is logged on with his Windows account, the game now keeps track of these unique characteristics and doesn't overwrite anything)
- This script copies itself into the Game installation folder and is used as a loader for the SIMCITY.EXE program (this is what ensures that individual user settings are always configured and stored properly)
- A new program shortcut is created for the "SimCity 2000" program, pointing instead to "%programfiles%\Maxis\SimCity 2000\SimCity2000.vbs"; an updated Windows XP type shortcut is also created for the "SimCity Urban Renewal Kit" program (however, this VBScript is not used as a loader for WINSCURK.EXE)
- Many portions of this script can be configured for your own specific needs and configuration type
I have only tested this with the SimCity 2000 Special Edition package, but I imagine it will also work with other Windows 95 versions (if not in its default state, then probably with a little careful tweaking). However, it works fantastically with the SE version, and serves as the program update I had been hoping to find for quite some time now. I haven't tested this with Windows 2000, Vista or 7, but I imagine that it will at least work with Windows 2000, if not the other two as well.
Here it is. Copy and paste into notepad, make any desired changes to the options near the top, and save as a .VBS file. Make sure SimCity 2000 is installed, double click the VBS file and you're all set. Also, since I'm not sure where all the SimCity websites are on the Net, would you guys mind distributing this for me to all the appropriate sites/channels/people/etc?
NOTE: You'll have to go to a post I made in another forum since I am unable to fit all of the code into one post here (apparently the forums are limited to 10000 characters per post). You can find the VBScript code at this post in the Tilted Mill Entertainment SimCity Forums: http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25464
EDIT - Updated the script a little bit. This morning I noticed a few things that I should have fixed before posting last night.